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Re: IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums

by LD2 (Curate)
on Apr 14, 2001 at 21:09 UTC ( #72595=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums

Just an opinion...

I think you've brought up an interesting thought, I don't believe that these communities or forums make you a better 'hacker' or programmer. But, I do believe that communication between developers is a great idea and that these communites help foster that. Ideas, thoughts, and collaboration between developers has been greatly improved with these ways of communication.. and I doubt anyone ever regretted having these pathways open to them. I won't say that these forums don't help one improve their talents or help them learn or research in new areas or maybe just help broaden their understanding on a certain key points or fundamentals -- but I do think that one can survive and be an excellent developer without them. There are too many outside resources that one could use without using forums, IRC, web site communities - although a quick question may not be so easily answered. I think that online resources are a fast reply/response system and that's one reason why people use it so often. One doesn't have to wait days or hours to get an answer, they can either post or discuss it online with a short amount of time. I think it's a matter of patience, attention span...and maybe a bit of laziness.

I'm not sure if one forum is better than another.. I personally think that online communities such as the monastery is a bit better than IRC communites. One reason generally speaking, people treat it as a community - which means they give as much as they take/learn. From my past experiences with IRC, it seems that the ops are the ones that mostly answer the questions while visitors pop in and out with questions. Although that is what it's used for, most users on IRC do not share their knowledge with others. Sorta like fast food.. but quick questions, quick answers. Also, since users here have to write their questions up in a post form - they may have to think a bit more on how to phrase their questions in a more understanding manner. This may or may not help them discover their own answers on their own - it also allows them to share their code and let others view the problems that they may be blinded by. Whereas with IRC, it's harder to ask difficult questions without flooding the channel with code. Another comparison is the ability to search for answers or documents here... with IRC, most users will just blurt their questions out with or without prior research. I think that may be the case on why 'RTFM' is used so often with IRC compared to here at the monastery. Most here have done a bit of research or they are shown the way by others - it's still a learning process here.. IRC seems more solving the problems for people.

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